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  1. jwk72

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    First time Phantom owner. Been flying RC for 15 years and building (and flying) bigger UAV's for about 4 years. For starters, I must say I am blown away by this latest gen phantom! We bought it for work as a small,easy to transport unit (I work in agriculture) to be able to deploy quickly. We are using it mostly with Drone Deploy for mapping.

    My question is this... What kind of real world range does this get? It claims a few kilometers if memory serves and there have been a few times it's given me a weak signal warning and "reconnecting to drone" (in Drone Deploy) at 1/4 mile. Yes I have antennas pointing in the right direction and yes I have a direct line of sight with no obstructions between tx and Copter. Any ideas???
     
  2. Luckybreak

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    I get about a mile, two if I use reflectors. Video drops or gets weak before any loss of contact. Are you using DJI Go, antennas perpendicular to the drone?
     
  3. jwk72

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    I've only used DJI Go for manual flying (not missions) out to a 1/2 mile. I was using Drone Deploy when signal showed weak. I have not tried any reflectors or other antennas yet... and yes, the antennas were at 90 degrees to the aircraft at all times.
     
  4. Killerpilot2990

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  5. Killerpilot2990

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    And also has just the antenna which is a fraction of the price.. look through his page


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
  6. Peter Galbavy

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    Just in case, set your display device (tablet/phone) into Flight/Airplane Mode (pun not intended) to minimise local RF near the control unit.
     
  7. tommyb888

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    I regularly get at least 3.5km (2miles) and that's from an apartment balcony with a lot of wifi signals around me... I also use my own wifi as a source of internet for maps whilst flying.
     
  8. John Locke

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    Here's a few things to know, try and consider:
    1. Select a "CUSTOM CHANNEL" using the GO APP meter indications for a quite channel. Wifi interference is a prime culprit to reduced range. Selecting a quiet channel is key when going "CUSTOM CHANNEL". Usually channel 20 is quiet, but look and compare.
    2. AFTER you select the custom channel, there will be a slider bar appear to adjust the video TRANSMISSION QUALITY. Slide that to 4mbps, this will increase your range because there is less video data that has to be streamed from the craft to the ground. This reduction in quality "bit rate" doesn't affect your display quality much, hardly at all.
    3. The P4 controller is the weakest Lightbridge enabled RC that DJI has manufactured to date. The CONTROL SIGNAL transmit power is the problem, leading to disconnects sooner than older Phantom and Inspire craft. If you really want to enhance range, consider buying a used GL300A (early Phantom 3P type) which has about 33% more power.
    4. You can use an inexpensive Windsurfer to make your controller a directional radio, having to always point the dish to the craft. Costs less that $20. The Windsurfer range extender doesn't require you to modify your RC, it just slips over the antennas, and they do work well (they work better with GL300A). Hence Windsurfer doesn't void you're warranty. However, the Itelite DBS 2.2 directional antenna is the most common antenna upgrade that works well, $109, maxxuav.com. However you have to open the RC up and make the modifications yourself, or you can send your RC away to Jake at Maxxuav.com and he'll do it for $99 labor +$109 (I think). This will void the warranty, so you may want to modify a used GL300A for an optimal setup (more transmit power), while keeping the P4 RC (GL300C) stock.
    5. Last choice, buy a used Inspire controller, GL658A (~$350 eBay), which is even more powerful than GL300A (~$150 eBay). The GL658A provides about 50% more control signal transmit power than the stock GL300C that comes with the P4 craft. Without an antenna mod to the GL658A you can usually go 2+miles in open fields (away from homes and buildings that emit wifi signals), and even farther with Windsurfer. That's what I use with my P4, GL658A with a Windsurfer.

    Directional antenna setups like Windsurfer and Itelite DBS2.2 can "help" to reduce rogue wifi signals from interfering with your RC video reception, but you have to remember to always point the antenna at the craft. Lastly, many enthusiasts will also use amplifiers on the Itelite antenna to get even more range, 4+miles, which then gets risky with battery depletion. The main problem with that setup IMHO is the added weight and bulk to the RC (fitting in your case), along with the need to recharge another battery, required to power the amplifiers hanging on the back of the RC. Usually the Itelite antenna ALONE (no amps) will take you beyond 2mi which is usually adequate, and the battery in the craft won't support distances that are much farther, safely, if you do any loitering on the far end.

    All of these RC's will work with P4 craft FOR FLIGHT, however the label on the PSA switch says PAF. Just ignore the PAF label and pretend it says PSA. Also, these other controllers will not work to upgrade your P4 craft firmware, you need the P4 RC to do that occasionally.

    Finally, the video transmit power from the P4 to ground is good, one of the best to date of all phantoms. However the control signal of the P4 RC to the craft is bad, limiting range dramatically to control the P4 craft, when comparing stock P4 to stock P3P setups. You can read more about this in a thread I created on this subject here.
     
    #8 John Locke, Sep 16, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
  9. Fallguy

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    Location:
    Right above you.
    I would suggest using a 2nd party app like Litchi or Drone Deploy. I use Litchi for missions and I am able to keep the bird up for 20 min. My longest flight has been 4.6 miles and when battery got low it RTH on its own. I did not have control for 18 min of this flight flying at 31 mph. This was over farmland , so no drone police please.
     
  10. John Locke

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    I think Drone Deploy needs a control connection during the whole mission flight. Litchi does not, it will complete the mission even when out of range. Autopilot recently enabled that ability also, so I'm told.
     
    Fallguy likes this.
  11. geolopez73

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    If you are concerned about range....look up FPVCUSTOMS.COM FPVLR.COM & MAXXUAV.COM these are long range third party antennas with RIDICULOUS range capabilities. Always make sure to calibrate your IMU & Compasses when you change your location.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
  12. geolopez73

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    But those antennas are great! Especially if you go boosted!


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots